Welsh Government is to establish a new working group to encourage more women and underrepresented groups to consider a career in transport.
Speaking at a Women in Transport event at the Senedd, the Minister said Wales’ new £5bn rail service should look like the community it serves, reflecting in its workforce the diversity of Wales in the 21st Century.
The Minister confirmed that the group will undertake a review of diversity in the railway industry in Wales initially and that the group’s membership will include representatives from Transport for Wales, Network Rail, Welsh Government and rail unions, as well as involvement from the charity Chwarae Teg.
Issues such as overtime arrangements, rest day and part-time working will be explored as potential issues that could encourage greater diversity in the railway in Wales. The group will provide recommendations to the Welsh Government within 6 months and then look at further phases of work in other areas of transport.
In the week of International Women’s Day the Welsh Government has also published a high level implementation plan as part of its Gender Equality Review. Measures around increasing equality in transport include:
- a package of training to look at gender and other protected characteristics
- an independent body to review performance and undertake a Wales-wide survey on safety with transport
Speaking at the event, the Minister said:
“When women are excluded from our transport workforce we are losing talent – 50% of the ideas, the knowledge and the creativity we could be using to improve transport in Wales is shut out.
“When individuals – because of their race, ethnicity, sexual orientation or their disability – are stopped from coming forward to work in transport we lose the opportunity we could have taken to make better decisions about the future of vital transport services.
“But most of all when these things happen we fall down on our aspiration for equality, social justice and common humanity.
“We must address this with pace and with urgency. Through measures such as our new Transport Diversity Group – focusing on rail in the first instance – and our Gender Equality Review implementation plan, this is exactly what we are working to do.
Lisa Yates, Director of People and Organisational Development for Transport for Wales, said:
“We’re delighted to support the Women in Transport event, as part of our commitment to promoting diversity in all our activities, so that our organisation and the services we provide represent all communities within Wales and the Borders.
“We’re striving towards a culture that is gender-diverse and inclusive, which recognises and develops the potential of all employees and people who use our services. We recognise the benefits and opportunities of having a diverse community of staff who value one another and realise the contribution they can make to achieving our vision for a public transport network the people of Wales can be proud of.